2011 Reading

Here is a list of the books that I have read in the past year. As in prior years, I cannot recommend every book on the list, but many were simply outstanding. Email me or leave a comment if you want to know what I thought of any of these books.

  1. God So Loved the World (Lyle Lange, NPH)
  2. Whether Soldiers, Too, Can Be Saved (Martin Luther LW 46)
  3. Positively Lutheran (John Braun, NPH)
  4. The Kingdom of Christ (J.P. Meyer)
  5. Dying to Live (Harold Senkbeil)
  6. The Papacy Evaluated (E.G. Behm)
  7. Johann Kilian, Pastor (George Nielsen)
  8. A Tale of Two Synods: Events That Led to the Split between Wisconsin and Missouri (Mark Braun)
  9. The Christian & Birth Control (Robert Fleischmann)
  10. Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity (Eugene H. Peterson)
  11. On Being a Christian: a personal confession (Henry Hamann)
  12. Motivation for Ministry: perspectives for every pastor (Nathan Pope)
  13. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
  14. First Conversation (Bethesda Institute)
  15. What in the World Is Going On?: Identifying Hollow and Deceptive Worldviews(David C. Thompson)
  16. Down Range: to Iraq and Back (Bridget C. Cantrell, Ph.D., & Chuck Dean)
  17. Examination of the Council of Trent, part 2 (Martin Chemnitz)
  18. Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns (T. David Gordon)
  19. The Cradle and the Crucible: A history of the forming of the Arizona-California District (Charles E. Found)
  20. The Ministry of the Word (John Brug)
  21. Ministry, Word, and Sacraments: An Enchiridion (Martin Chemnitz)
  22. Gazelles, Baby Steps, and 37 Other Things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Debt (Jon Acuff)
  23. Strong Father, Strong Daughters (Dr. Meg Meeker)
  24. The Hammer of God (Bo Giertz)
  25. Luther’s Liturgical Music (Robin Leaver)
  26. Why Johnny Can’t Preach (T. David Gordon)
  27. The Theology of the Cross (Daniel Deutschlander)

The most useful things I read this year were the two titles by Martin Chemnitz. They do not call him the “second Martin” for nothing.

The Amazon Kindle has made an impact on the way I buy and read books. Only two of the books on this year’s list were read on my Kindle, but that’s mostly because I had more than a year of reading in my “to-read” pile. That pile is beginning to dwindle, and I suspect that more than half of the books I read in 2012 will be in Kindle format. There are some books that I will still prefer to have and use in hard copy—especially reference books that won’t be read straight through. But right now I have at least three books loaded on my Kindle ready to read as soon as I get to them.

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10 Responses to 2011 Reading

  1. ladyofshadow says:

    I have only read “Crime and Punishment” from your list. I was 15 then and I loved it. Despite the fact that I had some difficulties with remembering Russian names.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    How is The Theology of the Cross? How about Martin Chemnitz? Are these useful for the average, not synodically trained layperson? I have read #s 1, 8 & 24 on your list. #1 has been quite useful.

    • The Theology of the Cross is a must-read. Deutschlander’s style is not the easiest to read, but what he writes is deep and very useful. Near the end of the book, he writes what he calls “a sampler” of crosses that Christians bear at different times of life. I have said that this section is worth the price of the book. It is simply brilliant in the way it understands human nature and the experiences of young, middle-ages, and elderly, and how life at every stage presents us with crosses of various shapes and sizes.

      Chemnitz is also very useful, though also not the easiest to read. Of course, this is in translation. I would say that Chemnitz’ Enchiridion could be useful to a layperson. It was written as a series of questions and answers for examining pastors by their superintendents (bishops). In many ways, it’s probably as good an overview of Christian doctrine as Lange’s “For God So Loved the World” but shorter by a few hundred pages.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Thank you! Prof. Deutschlander’s book has been recommended to me before, but now I am interested enough to buy a copy.

        I have seen the T. David Gordon books referenced an awful lot in blogposts since the Worship conference. (I was there. I tried to squeeze your workshop in but I only got to go to about half the ones I wanted to. Sorry.) Are the Why Johnny… books mainly of interest to pastors looking for insight into parish education?

        • Both of the T. David Gordon books deal with forces and trends in our culture that have dramatically changed the way we approach and use texts (preaching) and music (hymns). The preaching book is more focused on preachers, but the book on singing I would recommend to anyone. I made reference to the book in my presentation this summer to emphasize that singing (hymns) happens best when singing is not something reserved for the shower, with the car stereo, and an hour on Sunday, but when hymns accompany life. The book is quite good at explaining the obstacles to be overcome.

  3. Jay Ramos says:

    I highly recommend “The Brothers Karamazov” as your 2012 fiction selection. That is Dostoevsky’s magnum opus, and one of the master works of literature.

  4. BobPotratz says:

    I own The Deustchlander but have yet to read it. But I have read Senkbeil’s Dying to Live three times. Very clear and very confessional.

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